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Agathas Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story

Agatha is disrupted by six cranky, cold, naked geese. They want to discuss the source of the feathers that are keeping her warm in her brand newfeather bed. Agatha arrives at a solution and finally understands that:

“Everything comes from something,
Nothing comes from nothing.
Just like paper comes from trees,
And glass comes from sand,
An answer comes from a question.
All you have to do is ask.”

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Natural Resources, Goods & Services, Economic Wants, Productive Resources, Capital Resources, Human Resources.

Author: Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrator: Laura L. Seeley
Published: 1991
Reading Level: 3.5
Grade Level: K-2
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Lexile Measure: 410L
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers

Comprehension Questions

What does Agatha do for a living?

She owns a fabric store. She spins yarn and then weaves the yarn into cloth that she sells to people who come from all over Manhattan to purchase her beautiful fabrics.

What kinds of cloth goods does Agatha sell in her business?

She sells cloth made from silk, cotton, linen, and wool.

What does Agatha mean when she says that everything comes from something?

She means that every good is made from some kind of raw material. (Examples from the book: silk comes from worms, cotton yarn comes from cotton plants, wool comes from sheep, linen comes from flax, feathers comes from geese, glass comes from sand, milk comes from cows, flour comes from wheat, perfume comes from flowers, etc.)

What natural resources are necessary to produce all the raw materials that Agatha used to produce her cloth?

Sun, water, soil, grass, plants, sand, minerals, etc.

Where do natural resources come from?

They are found naturally in nature.

What other productive resources are needed to produce a good or a service?

Capital resources (manmade goods such as tools, equipment, machinery, and buildings that are used to produce goods and services) and human resources (all the people who work to provide goods and services)

What good did Agatha purchase from a catalog that satisfied an economic want?

She purchased a new, comfortable feather mattress, since her old mattress was lumpy and bumpy. She worked hard and saved until she had enough money to buy a feather bed.

Why were the geese upset with Agatha?

The geese informed Agatha that the feathers in her feather bed didn’t grow on trees – because of her feather bed they are now naked and cold! They insist that Agatha give them back their feathers.

How does Agatha solve this problem?

She cuts off her long gray hair and uses it to knit each goose a white fleecy warm coat.

Agatha got a feather bed, and the ducks got new wool coats. Was everyone happy with this exchange?


When people trade and exchange with one another voluntarily, who benefits?

Both parties in a trade (exchange) expect to benefit.

Extra Credit Question!

Are animals a natural resource?

Maybe! Wild animals are usually classified as natural resources. However, domesticated animals are different, and are often classified as a capital resource. For example, in traditional economies cattle and horses pull plows and are beasts of burden. Milk cows and hens are also considered capital resources. Pets are not a productive resource, but are better considered as a consumer good.